The Office (Series 1)

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Episode 1: Downsize

David Brent is informed by Head Office that his Slough branch of Wernham Hogg paper merchants might be closed down. David’s deep rooted need to be popular triumphs over realism and he immediately promises the staff there will be no redundancies.

Ricky, a new temp fresh from university, is shown around the office by David. He is introduced to Tim and Gareth whose fractious relationship is immediately apparent by a fight over a stapler and the construction of a Berlin Wall made from cardboard box files between their desks.

In an effort to demonstrate his keen sense of humour David informs Dawn that she has been sacked for the heinous crime of stealing Post-It notes. Dawn, predictably, does not see the funny side.

Brent-ism of the episode: "I haven’t got a sign on the door that says white people only. I don’t care if you're black, brown or yellow - you know, Orientals make very good workers."

Quote of the episode:

Gareth: "What if that killed someone?"
Tim: "Well then... they'll think you're the murderer, it's got your name on it."
Gareth: "Why would a murderer put his name on a murder weapon?"
Tim: "To stop people borrowing it."

Episode 2: Work Experience

David hires Donna, his lodger and the daughter of his best friend. While showing her round the office he discovers a doctored pornographic image of himself. Gareth, due to his covert operations skills, is told to catch the culprit.

Jennifer Taylor Clark visits from Head Office and wants to know what cutbacks David has made. David, displaying a genius crucial in a managerial role, invents a warehouse employee called Julie Anderton that he has fired. Jennifer is impressed until a tour of the warehouse makes it clear that Julie didn't exist.

Gareth’s investigations have revealed that the pornographic image was made on Tim’s computer. In a show of authority for Jennifer’s benefit, and a last ditch effort to claw back his reputation, David reprimands Tim in front of the whole office. So far so good. That is until he is told that the image is actually the work of his good friend Sales Rep. Chris Finch.

Brent-ism of the episode: "If you were to ask me to name three geniuses, I probably wouldn’t say Einstein, know. I’d go Milligan, Cleese, Everett. Sessions."

Quote of the episode:

Gareth: "You know the phrase softly softly catchy monkey? …I could catch a monkey - if I was starving I could. I’d make poison darts out of the poison off deadly frogs. One milligram of that poison can kill a monkey. Or a man. Prick yourself, you’ll be dead within a day. Or longer. Different frogs, different times."

Episode 3: The Quiz

It is Tim’s 30th birthday - he receives a card from Dawn and an unusual inflatable gift from Lee. More importantly, however, it’s Quiz Night and there are reputations to be made or lost.

Ricky confesses that he once appeared on Blockbusters and won two gold runs. David, feeling his tiny mind intellectually threatened, is thus inspired to make frequent expositions on his (non-existent) knowledge of Dostoevsky.

Gareth comperes Quiz Night and the questions reflect his personal interests - namely war and weapon specifications. The Tits (Ricky and Tim) are eventually victorious after winning a tiebreak with The Dead Parrots (David and Finchy). Yet the duel is not over as the fiercely competitive Finchy proposes a further challenge that involves throwing an item over the roof of the building. Unfortunately for birthday boy Tim it is his shoes that are chosen.

Brent-ism of the episode: "There are things that I will never laugh at. The handicapped - because there’s nothing funny about them. Or any deformity. …At least the little handicapped fella is able minded… or sometimes not - it’s difficult to tell with the wheelchair ones."

Quote of the episode:

Tim: "I like ballet, I love the novels of Proust, I love the work of Alain Delon, and that's I think what influenced her buying me Hat FM. I like the radio too!"

Episode 4: Training

To fend off the increasing staff disillusionment a Training Day has been scheduled. Dawn’s engagement to Lee is on the rocks and Tim begins to think that he may at last have a chance with her.

Staff training proves monotonous until Gareth announces, during a motivational exercise, that his ultimate dream involves two lesbian sisters. The training is derailed somewhat when David reveals he was in a band, produces a guitar and regales the staff with a number of his self-penned songs. Meanwhile Dawn slips out from the session and reconciles with Lee.

Post lunch the vacuous team building exercises continue until Tim feels he can take no more, announces his resignation and leaves. He returns moments later to ask Dawn out – but as usual Tim is humiliated when she reveals that her and Lee are still together.

Brent-ism of the episode: "The thing is we’re both good in our own fields. I’m sure Texas couldn’t run and manage a successful paper merchants. I couldn’t do what - actually I could do what they do."

Quote of the episode:

Dawn: "He proposed on a Valentine’s day, although he didn’t do it face to face, he did it in one of the little Valentine message bits in the paper. I think he had to pay for it by the word, because it just said ‘Lee love Dawn, marriage?’ which, you know I like, because it’s not often you get something that’s both romantic and thrifty."

Episode 5: New Girl

David interviews for a new secretary and choses blonde Karen. His efforts to impress end spectacularly badly when he accidentally headbutts her. Meanwhile Donna’s late arrival at work inevitably sparks the rumour that she is sleeping with a colleague.

A drooling Gareth fails to find out more when giving Donna Health and Safety training. However he does succeed in scaling new heights of patronisation by teaching her how to correctly position a mug on a PC and lift a box. Meanwhile Tim has handed in his notice and is considering studying Pyschology at university.

At Chasers David pulls until he charmingly informs his squeeze that she has onion breath. Gareth, also having a run of luck in attracting a member of the opposite sex, gets more than he bargains for when her husband wants to join in. And Donna finally reveals her new boyfriend is… Ricky.

Brent-ism of the episode: "Does a struggling salesman start turning up on a bicycle? No, he turns up in a newer car - perception, yeah? They got to trust me - I’m taking these guys into battle, yeah? And I’m doing my own stapling."

Quote of the episode:

Gareth: "It’s a fun place, but it’s full of loose women. My only problem with that is venereal disease, which is disabilitating right, especially for a soldier. And it’s irresponsible to the rest of your unit as well. Alright, you’ve been under attack for days, there’s a soldier down, he’s wounded, gangrene’s setting in, ‘who’s used all the penicillin?’ ‘Oh, Mark Paxton sir, he’s got knobrot off some tart.’"

Episode 6: Judgement

It is redundancies judgement day and David is told by Head Office that he will be promoted if he sacrifices the branch. True to his innate sense of self-preservation and greed David leaps at the chance for betterment. The office is shocked but Gareth is most devastated - who will take him seriously now he is no longer Assistant to the Regional Manager?

However a surprise is in store at Chasers - David announces that he has now rejected the job offer in order to save the branch. Could his sense of loyalty finally be coming to the fore? Well no. Malcolm has discovered that the job offer was withdrawn because David failed a medical test.

Tim tells Dawn he has been promoted to Senior Sales Clerk and his Psychology career has been put on hold. What irresistable carrot prompted this change of heart? An extra £500 a year.

Brent-ism of the episode: "There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is Neil will be taking over both branches and some of you will lose your jobs… On a more positive note the good news is I’ve been promoted - so every cloud… you’re still thinking about the bad news aren’t you?"

Quote of the episode:

David: "Look whether or not Anton is indeed a midget, or a dwarf-"
Alex: "No he’s a midget"
David: "What’s the difference?"
Alex: "A dwarf is someone who has disproportionately short arms and legs"
David: "Oh I know the ones"
Alex: "It’s caused by a hormone deficiency"
David: "Yeah… bloody hormones"
Alex: "A midget is still a dwarf but their arms and legs are in proportion"
Gareth: "So… what’s an elf?"

Courtesy of the BBC